Preach The Foolish Gospel

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Preach The Foolish Gospel

I have a tendency to intellectualize things and want to make a compelling argument.

But far be it from me when God has chosen foolishness for me to make it reasonable and render it of no effect!

“For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”
—1 Corinthians 1:21

I was not called to win debates.

I was called to preach the gospel.

“And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
—1 Corinthians 2:4-5

Jesus said His sheep know His voice and they follow Him.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
—John 10:27

So, my aim is simply to speak with His voice by His Spirit to gather His Sheep to Him that He leads to good pasture in God.

If the preaching of His Anointed Word does not cause them to hear, nothing will.

If the foolishness of the gospel does not save them, nothing will.

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
—1 Corinthians 1:18

The foolishness of the gospel is the God ordained means by which He chooses. It is His dividing rod. I must be careful not to modify it or corrupt it to make it suitable lest it is no longer the gospel.

I must trust God.

I must do it His way.

If I don’t, those who are “saved” by my “ministry” are not saved at all, rather they are deceived again by the deceitfully wicked heart of man.

Preach the foolish gospel.

Here it is:

God alone is good.

We sinned and thereby died, becoming instruments of death, killing and being killed, languishing in darkness, hopelessly separated from God and condemned to the same destruction of every evil thing by a good and Holy God.

But, God demonstrating His exceeding goodness and love provided a Way, while we were His enemies, that we can be with Him. Jesus is the Way.

God came Himself, to do what only He could do, taking the form of man by sending His Son to live a sinless life so that He might be the perfect sacrifice -a sacrifice infinitely greater than sheep, goats and bulls, a sacrifice sufficient for the sins of the whole world for all time. Because, without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.

But, God through Jesus, who having the riches of God, paid the debt and took the penalty we owe -death. God made Him who knew no sin become sin that we might become the righteousness of God.

God through Jesus provides a way of salvation from the death we are dying now and the death to come.

But, God not only had Jesus to die for us. Jesus being God laid down His life and took it up again. He was raised from the dead as the firstborn of a new creation which we become part of as a new creature when we believe.

And, this is the good news: we can be with God.

Our sin is great but God’s love is greater and God has provided a Way to be with Him for all who will accept it. Jesus is the Way.

We accept it by believing God, that Jesus is God who came in the flesh, that He is the Word, that He alone makes the truth of who God is known to us, that He died for our sin and that He was raised from the dead.

Acceptance is indicated by repenting of our sin: denouncing the world -the kingdom of darkness, forsaking it with joy in exchange for the kingdom of light, seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness above all, confessing Jesus as King and Master and giving our lives to Him who in turn reconciles us to God.

When we believe God, not only does He account Jesus’ payment on the cross to our account so that our current, past and future debt is forever paid, He gives us new life, making us righteous and acceptable in the Beloved, making us instruments of life rather than death through the same Power that raised Jesus from the dead -the Holy Spirit, and by Him makes available to us all of the riches of God, including a bodily resurrection on the Last Day so we can be with God forever.

God has done this and it is marvelous in our eyes.

God has done this, not we ourselves, so it will not fail.

God did it for Himself, not for us, so His reason will never change.

God didn’t do it because we earned it, deserve it, or because of anything desirable in us, quite the contrary.

God did it because He’s just that good.

And, the good news is that we can be with God.

Repent.

Accept what God’s done.

Believe in Him who God sent: Jesus.

And, be saved.

#gospel #preaching #perfectourlove

What Shall We Do

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - What Shall We Do?

Prostrate. Repentance. Praise.

These are proper responses to God.

I thank God for my dear sister Stephanie Atkins Arnett who regularly challenges me with her bias toward love in action. She asked a question that reminded me of the believers’ response to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit during Pentecost in Acts 2:37,

“Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?'”

In a previous post, I admonished us as a church, declaring that we have a problem.

The problem is we don’t love each other.

Sister Stephanie replied,

“You cited a challenge of our community…
Several have accepted the premise…
My question to you… what are actionable steps we can take, in addition to prayer?”

Thank you, dear sister, for that question and challenge!

This is what I believe God has put in my heart:

First, we need to become and operate as disciples NOT as members of an organization. Each of us, every one of us, should be functioning and expressing the life of Christ everywhere, every day and not just at club sanctioned activities.

Then, my answer [to the question] would first be the answer of the first century church, to come together at every opportunity (Acts 2:46), and labor intentionally to remove everything that separates us (Ephesians 4:1-5).

The idea is simple: by the grace of God, love each other the way Christ loves us, which flows out of the way He loves the Father, and then invite others into that love.

I have a vision of various fellowships across our community being held by disciples (not as a club recruitment function but as a sharing the love of Christ function) in their homes and businesses every day where we share the love of Christ and learn how to grow it (different people hosting at different places on different days. I personally want to attend one every day). Praise God that this is already happening to some degree.

We should then look around our fellowships and ask, “Is this representative of the makeup of my community, and moreover is this representative of the Kingdom of God?” If it is not, repent and strive to correct that. As Christ left heaven to get us, we should leave our comfort zones to get them (those that are lost or missing).

We should then connect those fellowships, using that network to identify and address needs and seize opportunities to grow the family of God.

Let’s start by dropping any such fellowships (not as a club recruitment function but as a sharing the love of Christ function) that we’re aware of in the comments.

If you’d like some training on this, let me know and we’ll make that happen.

Thanks again dear sister for the call to arms and action!

I love you.

“When You Return To Me” – My Night Song

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - "When You Return To Me" - My Night Song

“When You Return To Me” – My Night Song

Some of the most beautiful words in all of Scripture are

“When you return to Me” from Luke 22:32

It demonstrates that when Jesus is keeping me, when He is my hope, no matter how miserably I fail, no matter how much I fall short,

The Son’s position toward me is fixed and He does not move -like the Sun.

His rays will prosper in the things for which He sent them.

His purposes are being achieved.

I am greatly comforted by the sheer mass of His inexhaustible love, faithfulness and grace but I am also challenged by it.

I dare not abuse this grace to do as I please, “as a cloak for vice”.

I, rather, have incentive to return to Him.

Because just as He is certain, so is His victory and glory.

The only question is, how much of it will I get to partake in and enjoy?

So, whenever I fall, as I often do, by His grace I remember where the Son is.

I put away the death of darkness and turn again to the Light to receive Life to do the very thing I was created for

“to strengthen my brethren.”

“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Luke 22:32

Repentance Is Lifting Your Eyes To Love

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Repentance Is Lifting Your Eyes To Love

Hating yourself can feel like the proper punishment for the wrong you’ve done, the people you hurt and not being who you think you ought to be, but it’s not the way.

It only causes more harm.

The only helpful response to error and harm is repentance:

1. Awareness of God’s standard (Love),

2. Agree that I fall short of God’s standard,

3. Apologize for the offense to God and the injured caused by missing God’s standard,

4. Acknowledge my need for God’s help to meet the standard,

5. Ask God for His help meet to the standard,

6. Accept God’s help — His manifold grace through the instruction, wisdom, guidance and strength He supplies to atone with others and to align you to His standard so that you approach the matter appropriately moving forward.

7. Appreciate the forgiveness Jesus bought with His blood and the amazing power He offers, the same power that raised Him from the dead He makes available to you to give you new life now, with a new sprit –new and healthy desires, a new disposition and a new outlook.

Self hatred and self loathing is just more selfishness and a twisted attempt at self-righteousness which achieves nothing: no reconciliation, no healing, no improvement, just more anger, bitterness and regret.

When we continually abuse ourselves rather than accept the forgiveness Christ affords us, though we think we abase ourselves, it is an egregious act of pride.

When we reject His grace, we put ourselves above God, we take His seat as judge and instruct Him on how He should have handled our case. We mock God’s perfect solution for justice, we belittle the sacrifice of Christ and assert that His blood isn’t good enough!

Instead, humble yourself. Repent. Turn your attention from self to the Savior. Lift your eyes to Jesus Christ and find all the help you need to meet the standard to be better, to do better, to reconcile, to heal, to be transformed –to love that does no harm.

Repentance is lifting your eyes to Love.

“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”
2 Corinthians 7:10
https://bible.com/bible/114/2co.7.10.NKJV

The Deceitfulness Of Riches

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com The Deceitfulness Of Riches

For weeks, I’ve intended to:
visit a loved one,
sit with a dear brother,
put in quality family time,
write that note,
make that call,
share that word.

Why haven’t I?

Because I’m occupied with what I have to do to make the money to keep what I’ve got.

And, I’m preoccupied with what I have to do to get more.

“what I have to do…”

I’ve been in bondage.

The world says I can attain the good life if I somehow manage to get the right combination of things. But, Jesus teaches that the things that make for my peace are in knowing the Father and following Him, forsaking all else.

I know the truth, but at some point I again embraced the lie.

This deception offered me fool’s gold, robbing me of what matters most: precious time loving people who are dear to me and dear to God, in exchange for the worthless: a nirvana I might experience some day if I manage to get and do all the right things. (Spoiler alert: It’s a lie. Fulfillment never happens this way.)

Working for more stuff and living more life are in opposite directions. And, I’ve been going the wrong way!

My focus should not be on how to keep what I have or how to get more. My heart should be set upon attending to my Father’s house rather than seeking my own interests and pleasure. When I have the same heart as the Father (as demonstrated by Jesus, His only begotten Son), then my pleasure comes from seeing His house provided for and prospering.

So, I pray “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit with in me!”.

I’m on a journey now
to lay aside that which ensares me,
to divest myself of what weighs me down,
to sell what I have to share with those who lack,
to live with less so I have more to give:
to follow Jesus.

I repent.